Some walls are necessary. They protect us, define our borders and boundaries and provide security and reassurance.
Some walls are unnecessary. They are constructed out of spite and meanness. They are used to separate neighbors and limit exposure and contact with others. These walls tend to create division and acrimony instead of peace and community. Walls can be useful, and they can be destructive. It’s all about the intent of why the wall was built.
Last weekend, Henry and Anna Wilhoite and Misty and I traveled to the leaders training meeting at the City of Children in Ensenada, Mexico. The weekend prepared us to lead the upcoming mission trip that several of the Fairlane family will be participating in. We discussed the current conditions and needs of the children. We discussed the VBS that each group will do each week and were assigned a theme for our week. We discussed projects on the property that each group can complete that will help the daily operations at the City of Children. It was an informative weekend and we are excited about the upcoming mission trip.
Yet, what impressed me most about the weekend were the children that we met. They are an incredible group of kids. They are joyful, curious, energetic, fun loving and willing to open themselves and engage with a group that many of them had never met. Their hearts were open to us. They sat with us at several meals, played with us after meals and during break times and even put on a concert on Sunday evening.
These kids have all suffered through trauma. They have experienced abuse at some level. Physical, emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse have been a part of their stories. They have seen the disintegration of their families and have been forced to find solace and shelter at the City of Children. They are loved well there, and they are safe and secure. But the trauma remains with them. They have to face it each day and they have a choice to make. Do they put up walls to guard their hearts and keep others out? Especially strangers who they will only see once or twice a year? Or do they take down their walls, open their hearts and share their love and kindness with others while receiving love and kindness in return?
I am thankful that the walls have come down in their hearts. I am thankful that they have chosen love and the risk that comes with it. I am thankful that they have chosen a path of healing and openness as their walls have come down. They are a living testimony of the difference love and joy can make in a life assaulted by trauma and pain.
If you would like to experience this amazing group of children and have the opportunity to serve them this summer, please come to our City of Children meeting on Sunday, February 10th immediately following Bible Class. We will meet in the fellowship hall for a lasagna lunch and discuss the upcoming mission trip. We would be blessed to have you join us this summer.
Come see what happens when walls come down and love and joy reign in a group of God’s children.